I, the original Mr. Homeboy, have recently returned from an adventure in the lovely Brazilian Pantanal that featured a very close encounter with a particularly dangerous form of local wildlife.

Spoiler Alert:  it was a snake.  You could probably have deduced that as it says “snake” in the title of this post.  I acknowledge that I’m fully indulging in what the kids call “lazy writing” right now.

Here is that tale (or tail if you are into snake puns…which I am) of this close encounter for your apathetic review.  F it, just look at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.

Pantanal?  What The Hell Is A Pantanal?  

I can sense that you are sitting there in your cut-off jean shorts and chainmail shirt thinking, “Where the flying four-pronged feathered f*** is the Pantanal?”

Gaze upon this very clever screen grab from iPhone Maps to hip yourself to the Pantanal’s location.

FYI, I had to map this as I literally had no idea where I actually was.  Who goes on vacation to another country and has no idea where they are going?  I do, that is who.

The landscape of the Pantanal is a mix of wetlands, prairie decorated with termite mounds, and cattle ranches all mixed in with a hint of jungle.

In this diverse landscape there is a metric f***-ton of wildlife ranging from jungle critters (3 species of monkeys, giant river otters, caiman) to savannah/prairie critters (giant ant eaters and maned wolf).

Are there jaguars looking to murder all of these animals?  Yes, of course, what kind of place would the Pantanal be if there weren’t jaguars with murder in their hearts?

That is me and my sister Assflap acting f’n stupid at the official boundary into the Pantanal.  I feel like we should have maybe thought about our pose a little bit before we arrived at this…awkward…pose.

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The Scene Of The Ssssslithery Encounter

Myself and Sister-Assflap decided to embark upon a hot-ass hike in the hot-ass forest by our lodge in order to search for the very rare black tailed marmoset.

The trails through this forest are mostly used by cattle and tapirs with the rare human using them to do something weird in private.  The trail is flanked by leaf litter from the hardwoods and palms.  This leaf litter makes for a great hiding place for serpents with juicy glands filled with venom.

After an hour of hot-ass hiking in the hot-ass forest we found a small band of marmosets, all fancy with their black tails, that were involved in a turf war with their neighbors.

What does a marmoset turf war look like?  It is a super cute drama with tiny little monkeys making tiny little shrieks.  You would love it!

Hi, I might look cute, but I’m territorial as a mutha f’r.  Step into my hood and I will shriek at you ever so cutely!

After a difficult photo-op with these fine young monkeys (you try getting good pictures of hyper quick monkeys as they dart through the foliage while threatening to pee on you from above) we decided to call it a day.

We hit the hot-ass trail on the way back to the road with Sister-Assflap behind me as we strutted like Wall Street fat cats.  Then, young Assflap started to scream.

Places that you don’t want to hear screaming:  an Arby’s bathroom, public transportation, and some remote ass wilderness.

I turned around to see what the F she was screaming about when I noticed a decent sized serpent in the gap on the trail between her and I.  Strange, that serpent wasn’t there a second ago when I walked over that spot…was it? <- foreshadowing

Head Of Spear

The snake seemed discombobulated as it was half flipped over.  It thrashed to right itself and then slipped into the underbrush.

Assflap, whose lizard-brain was now fully controlling her actions, was still screaming.

As the snake was escaping into the underbrush I got a good look at it.  It was light gray with a darker blotchy pattern to it.  I instantly recalled seeing that same pattern on a snake once before in the Amazonian jungles of Ecuador.  It was a fer-de-lance!

For those of you that don’t know what a fer-de-lance is the short description is that it is a venomous pit-viper whose bite often leads to fatalities…and one had just somehow materialized on the trail between my sister and I.

This fer-de-lance to be exact:

This snake is a pit viper known as the fer-de-lance.  It is most definitely lethally venomous.  What a gorgeous snake if you are into that sort of thing.  I am.

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Dodging A Bullet  

Assflap’s monkey-brain wrested control from her lizard-brain and she finally stopped screaming.

We cast our gaze towards the direction that the snake had fled seeing that it was still visible in the underbrush.

It was at this point that Sister-Assflap informed me of why the snake was on the path between us, “As we were walking on the path I happened to look down at your feet right in front of me.  When you lifted up your left foot that snake was under your shoe.  You had stepped directly on it.”

Let me get this straight, I, in my infinite portliness, stepped directly upon a hyper venomous fer-de-lance AND IT DIDN’T BITE ME?!!!!!!  HOLY SHIT AM I LUCKY!!!!!!!!

Time For Some Video

As the snake was still visible in the underbrush I decided that I wanted to get a better look at it.  Why would I want to tempt the serpent goddess (praise be to Naga) by flirting with this snake again?  Because freakin’ fer-de-lances are cool.  Like, Fonzi riding a motorcycle made out of Samuel L. Jackson cool, that is why.

In order to get some video of Slithery McGee from a safe distance I busted out my GoPro and my SandMarc 15-50″ Pole.

This is how you film dangerous wildlife from a reasonable distance.  The GoPro gets close, but your meat-body stays at a safe remove.  That Planet Of The Apes poster though.

I threaded the pole-extended GoPro through the foliage to about 2.5 feet away from the snake. The snake immediately and furiously hammered it with a strike.

At this point I decided it was best to not stress it out anymore than getting stepped on by a mega-fatty will make a critter.  I left the snake where it was, flew back to America, and now I am punishing you with this shitacular blog.  You are welcome!

The Video

In a stroke of incredible luck (I was on a real hot streak out there) my GoPro was recording when the fer-de-lance struck.  This! Video! Is! Pure! Fire!

Behold, the insanely lightning quick strike of the fer-de-lance.  Kids, please do NOT try this at home!

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All jokes and sweet ass video aside I recognize that if the fer-de-lance had bitten me I would have been looking at a 2 hour ride in the back of a truck in the 100 degree heat to get to the nearest hospital in order to get anti-venom.

The best case scenario is that I would have only suffered horrific tissue damage around the bite.

Maybe I would have lost my foot.

Maybe I would have died.

I acknowledge that I am exceptionally lucky to be here right now writing this piss poor blog.  I cannot imagine the odds of stepping on a fer-de-lance and avoiding a bite.

Lucky. I am very, very lucky.

I’ll leave you with this screen grab of the fer-de-lance striking my GoPro.  What an incredibly impressive animal!

The fer-de-lance strikes so quickly that is is blurred on video!

Did I mention that I was lucky??

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